Doubt – with a coffee to go

Doubt and self-doubt can be paralysing. How do we get past it? Thasha Aly discusses.

Self-doubt. I’ve had it since I can remember. I’m constantly rebuked by beloved friends and family when I talk myself down. When I make less of a ‘thing’ of any achievements I may have had. Or when I downplay my role in any success. It’s just never felt comfortable for me. It’s okay to feel humble, but when that humility morphs into self-doubt, surely that isn’t a healthy thing? When does it stop being about appearing grounded, and when does it start to just weigh you down?

I had a conversation with a friend recently, where we talked about what life would be like post-pandemic. After keeping her children home from school for the entire year and with a vaccination pending, she felt strangely paralysed. She asked me, whether she would have to return to the way things were after the vaccine. It transpired that during her strict lockdown, she had become more doubtful about the return to ‘reality’ than lockdown itself.

With primary school admissions suffering a steep decline in some areas of the UK, it seems that my friend isn’t alone. Not everyone wants to carry on with business as usual. I know many parents who have decided to home school their kids permanently after this pandemic, now preferring to keep them home altogether. It’s just a theory, but perhaps doubt about the schooling system has also found its way into some people’s minds? I actually work in a school myself, and I personally couldn’t do it. My hair was practically torn out after home-schooling a nursery age child for just six weeks. But again, maybe that’s because I haven’t got the self-belief that I should have?

Another friend told me an anecdote today about a woman being given the wrong order in a coffee shop. She obligingly said that it wasn’t a problem, and that she would just take the wrong coffee. But the barista stopped her and said, “No. You deserve to have what you wanted.” I think we could all do with that advice in life. It’s time we stopped prioritising the needs of others before our own. We need to ‘call time’ on letting our doubt or lack of self-belief, rule our lives. I’ve got my vaccines in hand for this brave new world, and this time round I’m ready to ditch that side sprinkling of doubt. We simply have to believe that we can move forward in whatever it is that we want to do next. No more what-if’s, and no more ‘can I do this?’ We deserve the coffee we ordered in life. Au revoir doubt. Hopefully.

Is life causing you to doubt something in life? Share your stories.